Major depression and mania have increased prevalence in HIV-infected patients, particularly in clinical settings and at later stages of disease. Varied rates of major depression have been reported but differences in definition, methods of study, and population may partly explain these differences. We describe the clinical characteristics, assessment and treatment of mood disorders in HIV-infected patients, with emphasis on aspects specific to the setting of HIV infection. Diagnosis and treatment are complicated by medical complexity, stigma and psychosocial stress. Treatment is associated with clinical improvement. Mood disorders are associated with impulsivity substance abuse, hopelessness, and demoralization, all of which may increase risk for HIV infection. Also, HIV-associated subcortical damage may be a risk factor for mood disorders, which are increased in late stage HIV infection. We discuss the data supporting the thesis that both of these factors may be at work in producing the high rates of mood disorders seen, and speculate that aggressive treatment of mood disorders may improve outcome and risk behaviors in HIV-infected patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health